What We Do
About P.A.I.N.S Lab
At the P.A.I.N.S Lab, we focus on pediatric pain, anesthesia, imaging, and neurodevelopmental science. Led by Principal Investigator, Dr. Jillian Miller, the P.A.I.N.S lab uses state-of-the-art neuroimaging and experimental techniques to understand the effects of pain and anesthesia on the developing brain. The P.A.I.N.S lab is located at the Alberta Children’s Hospital, which allows for synergy between the clinical and research teams. Interdisciplinary collaboration ensures that we are conducting clinically relevant research that will lead to evidence-based patient care and improved patient outcomes. Our location also provides the team access to some of the most technologically advanced equipment available today. We are passionate about our research in the field of pediatric pain mechanisms and pediatric pain management. At the P.A.I.N.s lab, our utmost priorities are research innovation and the training of the next generation of clinical scientists. Contact us today if you’re interested in a neuroscience career!
Areas of Focus
Prior to the 1980s, it was believed that infants could not feel pain. Therefore, compared to other specialties, the field of pediatric pain research is still in its infancy. The P.A.I.N.S lab is working to find ways to optimize pain management in infants, children, and adolescents. As leaders in the field of pediatric pain, we study the full spectrum of the pain experience — from acute to chronic pain — from infancy through to early adulthood.
The P.A.I.N.S lab is setting the gold standard for pediatric pain management research. We are particularly interested in understanding the mechanisms of repeated acute pain and/or trauma on the developing brain and its role in the transition to chronic pain in youth. We are actively trying to identify the key brain areas involved in the transition to chronic pain to better facilitate the development of targeted interventions. In the Department of Anesthesiology and Perioperative Pain Medicine, we are partnering with clinicians in order to optimize pain management in ways that are brain protective. We maintain an ethically sound, unbiased, rigorous, and collaborative approach to our research questions.
The goal of our research is to develop effective, evidence-based, targeted interventions to improve the long-term outcomes of vulnerable populations of youth and their families.
Dr. Jillian Vinall Miller is a leading researcher in pediatric pain and developmental neuroscience in Calgary. She is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Anesthesiology, Perioperative & Pain Medicine at the University of Calgary, and has been studying pediatric pain in both healthy and clinical populations for over a decade. Dr. Miller has extensive experience and expertise in both acute and chronic pain and the transitions in-between, from infancy through to early adulthood. She continues to lead in these areas of research as director of the P.A.I.N.S lab. In addition to conducting innovative pediatric pain research, Dr. Miller’s goal is to train and prepare the next generation of clinical developmental scientists.
Dr. Miller’s research is backed by a dedicated team of talented pain trainees, staff, clinicians, and researchers.
Study Pediatric Pain Management
With The P.A.I.N.S Lab
The P.A.I.N.S lab uses state-of-the-art lab equipment and neuroimaging techniques, including diffusion tensor imaging, to advance the field of pediatric pain.
The P.A.I.N.S lab endorses an environment of collaboration and support. We conduct highly interdisciplinary research and prioritize the training of the next generation of clinical scientists.
Our location at the Alberta Children’s Hospital facilitates interaction with patients, clinical teams and researchers to inform evidence-based clinical care.